Late limelight on Lazar

An Austrian writer’s little-known 20-page draft has been turned into an enthralling play in Vienna.

The capital’s Akademietheater now stages “Der Henker” by Maria Lazar which premiered 99 years ago. Neglected and nearly forgotten, this production might put Lazar’s oeuvre into the spotlight once again.1

Born in 1895, Lazar worked for Viennese daily Arbeiter-Zeitung but also Querschnitt, a Berlin newspaper. She wrote eight novels and three plays. When the political environment in Austria became increasingly oppressive in 1933, Lazar left Austria to settle in Denmark. Six years later she moved to Sweden. From 1946, the author spent one year in London. Having been diagnosed with an incurable disease, Lazar committed suicide in 1948.

Itay Tiran and Sarah Viktoria Frick take the leading roles in the play directed by Mateja Koleznik. Tiran – who joined the Burgtheater cast at the beginning of this season – plays a man sentenced to death. Critics have praised the cast’s performances but also praised the minimalistic set.

“Der Henker” is a play that touches essential human emotions like love and hate, desperation and hope. The next performances is scheduled for tomorrow 8pm.

Meanwhile, Klaus Maria Brandauer continues to pay tribute to the body of work of Eric Vuillard. After reading extracts of “L’ordre du jour” a few weeks ago, the award-winning movie and theatre star presents “14 juillet” on the 5th of February. While “L’ordre du jour” is an intense description of the atmosphere in Europe before the Third Reich annexed Austria, “14 juillet” takes readers to Paris in 1789.


Photo: © Matthias Horn

A Regular Little Masterpiece

Daniel Llewelyn-Williams is putting in a smashing performance in a play he wrote himself which is now being performed in Austria.

Vienna’s English Theatre stages “A Regular Little Houdini” each night except Sundays until the 22nd of February. “I wrote ‘A Regular Little Houdini’ in 2013 as a love song to my hometown of Newport, Wales,” Llewelyn-Williams explains.1

The play is fictional but strongly inspired by the history of the author’s family.
“A Regular Little Houdini” tells from a young boy wanting to become a magician. Despite a series of disheartening throwbacks, he just gets back up on his feet again and again, determined to achieve everything he had ever dreamed of.

Llewelyn-Williams is charging all over the stage as he takes the audience back in time when Newport was a prospering industrial city with busy docks. Casually playing the occasional magic trick, he creates some uplifting moments in a play which does hold terrible tragedies.

Escape artist Harry Houdini – who kicked off his 1905 UK tour in Newport – is just a fringe aspect of this astonishing play which, thanks to the brilliant acting of its author, will certainly leave a long-lasting impression on Viennese audiences.

To get your ticket for “A Regular Little Houdini”, visit or call +43 1 402 12 60-0.

Photo: © Vienna’s English Theatre

The Intouchables

An aspiring actor from Afghanistan stars in a new Viennese theatre production.

Stage adaptions of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s 2001 novel “Mr. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran” have delighted audiences for years. Now Bagher Ahmadi stars in the Volkstheater’s version of this life-affirming story of an unusual friendship.1.jpg

Neglected by his father, Moses gets to know Monsieur Ibrahim (Michael Abendroth), a lovely elderly shopkeeper. The Jewish teen and the Muslim gentlemen may appear to be a dissimilar duo. But they soon build a perfect partnership.

The presence of the young chap quickly lifts the spirits of the visibly bored grocer. Moses, meanwhile, finally has someone he can share his secrets with.

Directed by Jan Gehler, this Volkstheater production is certain to find many admirers. The next performances of “Monsieur Ibrahim und die Blumen des Koran” are scheduled for tonight (VHS Hietzing) and Saturday (VZ Heiligenstadt).

For more information on the current repertoire, visit

Photo: © Barbara Palffy / Volkstheater

The Sleepwalkers

An award-winning actor will read from an acclaimed French novel in Vienna tonight.1

“L’ordre du jour” brilliantly captures the ridiculously careless routine of decision-makers and bureaucrats in the 1930s, heralding the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany. Golden Globe laureate Klaus Maria Brandauer (Never Say Never Again, Out of Africa) will read from Eric Vuillard’s book at the Burgtheater on December the 18th.

Sabine Haupt is meanwhile starring in a play which premiered in Berlin six years ago. Penned by Sibylle Berg, the Vestibül version of “Es sagt mir nichts, das sogenannte Draußen” is directed by Martina Gredler who is also in charge of Richard Alfieri’s “Sechs Tanzstunden in sechs Wochen”, a well-crafted play powered by great performances and excellent musicianship.

“Es sagt mir nichts, das sogenannte Draußen” portrays a young woman’s ill-fated attempts to find love and respect in an increasingly uncertain sociological environment. Considering modern measures of communication, Berg’s play is a mesmerising mess – and an ideal platform for a brilliant actress like Haupt.

The German actress manages to compensate the script’s lack of tension towards the end
with her astonishing entertaining skills. The contested novelist’s play is without a doubt one of the most compelling one-woman play performances you will see this season.

For additional information on the Burgtheater repertoire, visit

Photo: © Katarina Šoškić

Pesut’s Panda

The Burgtheater is bringing a Croatian writer’s play to Vienna.1.jpg

Born in 1990, Dino Pesut’s has received several awards the past few years. Now Vienna’s prestigious Burgtheater stages “Der (vor)letzte Panda oder Die Statik” at its Vestibül stage. Based in Berlin, Pesut has managed to capture developments in society with delightful precision ever since his first play “The Pressure Of My Generation” in 2012.

“Der (vor)letzte Panda oder Die Statik” starring Annina Hunziker, Wiebke Yervis and Lukas Haasand will be performed tomorrow night as well as on Thursday and on the 16th of December.

Meanwhile, Steven Scharf was named Best Actor at this year’s Nestroy Award for his sensational performance in “Medea” at the Burgtheater. The Volkstheater’s Steffi Krautz – who has featured in a thoroughly enjoyable “Biedermann und die Brandstifter” (The Arsonists) – won the award for Best Actress.


Photo: © Matthias Horn